The Central Arizona Dental Society will host its inaugural AZ MOM North event on June 7 and 8 to help locals in need. More than 125 volunteer dentists, hygienists, lab technicians and assistants will provide free care to approximately 1,000 people over two days.
The dental professionals – the majority of whom are from northern Arizona – will utilize 50 state-of-the-art dental chairs at the Rolle Activity Center on the NAU Campus to focus on relieving pain and infection. Dental services such as fillings, extractions, cleanings, as well as limited lab work including dentures – but no flippers – will be provided to approximately 1,000 people of all ages. Patients will receive services from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis both days.
“We are very excited that the CADS Foundation has brought the dental Mission of Mercy Program to Flagstaff,” said Dr. Dale Hallberg, co-clinic floor lead and Flagstaff dentist. “We expect the 2019 AZ MOM North event to help hundreds of people in our community with their immediate oral health needs.”
Arizona discontinued adult dental AHCCCS benefits in 2010 during the budget cuts of the great recession. While some benefits were restored in Fall 2018, the demand for care during this event proves how much the most vulnerable members of our community are still in need.
“There are too many people that fall through the cracks that are struggling with day to day life and need help,” shared Dr. Brent Dameron, an Arizona dentist and CADS Foundation board president “Having dental health gives these people a chance to focus on things other than pain or infection, helps them to better access potential jobs, plus it unburdens our emergency health care system that individuals use to relieve pain and infection if they can’t access dental care.”
Dameron added, “We also work to provide dental education to these patients in need so they understand a small ongoing investment will help to alleviate these larger, painful issues. Preventative dental care is about the cost of a cup of coffee each day.”
AZ MOM, or AZ Mission of Mercy Dental events occur throughout the year, but there are still individuals facing homelessness that have been unable to attend for a variety of reasons. CADSF and partners are creating additional focused events to meet these ongoing needs. This will be the first event held in the city of Flagstaff. The facility on the NAU campus provides an enormous space for more dental chairs and more dental professionals to give care to more people than in previous events.
CADSF relies on significant sponsorship from a variety of organizations for this event in Flagstaff including Del E. Webb Foundation, Delta Dental of Arizona, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Mercy Care and numerous other corporate sponsors and individual donors to put on the AZ MOM event each year. Anyone wishing to support this event can text AZ MOM to 71777 to donate.
Information provided by Central Arizona Dental.